MILWAUKEE — When the Pabst brewery closed in 1996, after more than 150 years in business, it left a large block of downtown Milwaukee with dozens of empty buildings. But seven years ago, an investment group purchased the site with the intention of creating “The Brewery,” a complex of residential, office, retail, hotel, and restaurant facilities.
At this moment, a hotel, an adjoining bar/restaurant, some offices, an apartment complex, and college extension classrooms are up and running.
However, for at least one day in June, a number of yet-to-be developed buildings had a temporary tenant — Milwaukee Electric Tool Corp. — who was using the sites to roll out its latest in new tools and test instruments including those for the HVACR industry. The media event drew trade press from the U.S. and Canada, representing all six disciplines the company serves: plumbing, electrical, HVACR, building, remodeling, and maintenance.
Steve Richman, president, Milwaukee Electric Tool Corp., said the new product rollout was a milestone for the company, marking its largest tool unveiling in the six years the company has hosted the press event. The theme of “disruptive innovation” continues as the company continues to change the way users think about tools, said Richman. “And this is not the end. It is the beginning of a launch of a lot of great new products,” he said.
For the day-long event, the trade press was divided into groups and transported among the various warehouse-type buildings on the site. In those venues, company personnel demonstrated new products, offering hands-on opportunities to try the new products and compare them with the previous generation of products, as well as those from competitors.
Many of the exhibited products were designed for HVACR applications. These included the SHOCKWAVE™ Expand, with new extended-length magnetic bit holders and insert nut drivers that together are designed to cover more applications with fewer products.
“While in the field over the last year, we saw, on multiple occasions and across many trades, users were stacking several short bit holders together for extended reach into tight spaces and often through small holes to gain access. In many situations, we saw them add a nut driver on the end as well,” said Brian Dieck, senior product manager.
“Seeing this led us to explore low-profile, extended-length driving solutions, and while doing so, we uncovered another key frustration for users — the sheer amount of accessories they often need to carry with them to complete the job. The beauty of Expand is that by combining our 26 insert bits and insert nut drivers with these five bit holders a user can replace over 130 individual items.”
The company introduced several hand tools, including the 10IN1 multi-bit drivers that feature 3 1/2-inch power-groove bits for power-tool compatibly and extended reach. This launch includes two multi-bit drivers, two ratcheting multi-bit drivers, and three key-driver sets.
“Milwaukee’s new line of drivers is the result of a user-focused research process aimed at solving common job site frustrations,” said Ryan Schwoegler, product manager. “Users expressed clear dissatisfaction with the lack of power-tool compatibility with the ball-detent bits found in traditional multi-bit drivers. Milwaukee’s power-groove bits found in the 10IN1 lineup provide a versatile job site solution while creating a better user experience for Hex and Torx Key users.”
Also on display was the company’s 4PC SAE nut driver set with universal driver heads. The nut drivers fit such fasteners as square, hex, 12-point, and spline, and have the ability to remove rusted and stripped bolts, the company said.
“Hex nut drivers that don’t provide the user any fitment versatility have become a major source of frustration,” said Schwoegler. “Milwaukee nut drivers are the latest example of our organization bringing new solutions to the hand tool category and providing relevant innovation to our end users.”
The drivers feature a 3-inch hollow shaft design, allowing users to drive fasteners on long bolts or threaded-rod applications. The drivers also feature wrench-ready Hex steel shanks that are forged and chrome plated for maximum durability and additional leverage. Multiple ID markings allow for quick tool identification on the job site.
The company continues to expand its recently launched M12 Fuel line with the introduction of the M12 Fuel 5/8-inch SDS Plus rotary hammer. Milwaukee has combined its Powerstate brushless motor, RedLithium battery pack, and Redlink Plus.
“Users no longer want a cumbersome, one-size-fits-all rotary hammer. Today, they want a solution that is optimized for their most common applications, and delivers increased comfort and productivity,” said Rick Gambaccini, group product manager. “At 10 inches long and 3.9 pounds, this tool provides performance and run time that is comparable to a much larger tool, at a fraction of the size and weight.”
The M18™ Six Pack Sequential Charger is an Energy Star-rated charger that will sequentially charge up to six battery packs of any Milwaukee M18 lithium-ion battery.
“With the expansion of the M18 system and the wide adoption of the platform, users often have many tools that require multiple M18 lithium-ion batteries,” said Justin Hermsen, assistant product manager. “With the new six pack charger, users can reduce the amount of time spent changing out batteries, increasing productivity on the job site.”
Publication date: 7/15/2013